Fether

Is there room for the terrestrial Kingdom?

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I have been living with my parents for the last 3 weeks as we wait for our house to finish. Being here has given me a lot of time to talk with my parents and my sibling who are LGBTQ and so I have been entertaining different ideas, questions, and engaging in conversation with a mother who experienced first hand 1 kid that left the church, one that is gay, and one that is transgender. I love my mother so much and I am constantly impressed with how she has balanced supporting her children in love while remaining faithful in the church.

One thing she spoke about was how she wished she had taught her kids that God's love and God's laws are not linked together. That no matter what decisions we make in life, God's love is always there. Additionally, she wished she could have taught the idea that just because you are "sinning" or believing differently from the church, doesn't mean you have to push away from God. 

One thing we talked about was how in the church, we teach both that (a) we all must strive for the celestial kingdom, and (b) we will be happy wherever we end up, and if we end up in the terrestrial kingdom, we shouldn't wish for the Celestial Kingdom because we would feel extremely uncomfortable there. There seem to be a dichotomy in these two (somewhat cultural) beliefs.

If it is true that we will be happy where we end up, and that anything higher would feel uncomfortable, why don't we hear discussions in church about not wanting celestial glory and it being ok to go the terrestrial kingdom? Why don't we make room in our teaching and culture for those that desire the lower law, for "people who do not accept the fulness of the gospel in this life... but live honorable lives" (PMG pg. 53). Should we make room or should the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints be a place for only those seeking exaltation? I recognize that in many ways we do, but we don't allow the conversation to be had out loud. And whether award welcomes that or not is based on a game of roulette.

Now please don't take these questions as me wanting a cultural revolution or that even these changes SHOULD take place. In our conversation, I recognized many limitations and major issues with making such a change. Such as:
- Will we inadvertently be teaching people to live terrestrial lives instead of celestial?
- Would we have conflicts in classes where we are encouraging people to live celestial lives, but are surrounded by members who only desire terrestrial (ie lgbtq, people who reject the word of wisdom, etc.)
- Would this create a stronger feeling of being judged by members who already feel looked down on at church (whether their feelings reflect reality or not)?

This post is not me trying to shed words of wisdom, but rather me asking help to complete my thought and form a more solid opinion on the matter.

I admit the logistics of rolling this out in a way that doesn't create an unintentional class system in the church may be difficult to overcome, but the Jehovah's Witnesses seem to work past this. 

Could we successfully teach on the basic Christian values and allow all to participate and grow in that, yet be ok when we speak about the Word of Wisdom, LGBTQ, Eternal Marriage / family, the law of chastity, Roles of men and women, etc. and be ok when there are members who do not wish to live the higher law disagree? 
 

Thoughts?

Edited by Fether

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Here's how I see it.  It's a question of unmet potential.  Ever heard of the masterpieces that are never written because a potential Beethoven or Bach or Mozart never learned music?

All of us have an upper level of where our original nature can take us.  But if we strive for anything less, that is what our eternal nature will end up being.  What we strive for in life will dictate what we may accomplish spiritually.  And what we accomplish spiritually will dictate what we will feel comfortable with (which Kingdom) in eternity.

There is therefore the sorrow over lost potential, regardless of what we eventually feel comfortable with.

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2 hours ago, Fether said:

I have been living with my parents for the last 3 weeks as we wait for our house to finish. Being here has given me a lot of time to talk with my parents and my sibling who are LGBTQ and so I have been entertaining different ideas, questions, and engaging in conversation with a mother who experienced first hand 1 kid that left the church, one that is gay, and one that is transgender. I love my mother so much and I am constantly impressed with how she has balanced supporting her children in love while remaining faithful in the church.

One thing she spoke about was how she wished she had taught her kids that God's love and God's laws are not linked together. That no matter what decisions we make in life, God's love is always there. Additionally, she wished she could have taught the idea that just because you are "sinning" or believing differently from the church, doesn't mean you have to push away from God. 

One thing we talked about was how in the church, we teach both that (a) we all must strive for the celestial kingdom, and (b) we will be happy wherever we end up, and if we end up in the terrestrial kingdom, we shouldn't wish for the Celestial Kingdom because we would feel extremely uncomfortable there. There seem to be a dichotomy in these two (somewhat cultural) beliefs.

If it is true that we will be happy where we end up, and that anything higher would feel uncomfortable, why don't we hear discussions in church about not wanting celestial glory and it being ok to go the terrestrial kingdom? Why don't we make room in our teaching and culture for those that desire the lower law, for "people who do not accept the fulness of the gospel in this life... but live honorable lives" (PMG pg. 53). Should we make room or should the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints be a place for only those seeking exaltation? I recognize that in many ways we do, but we don't allow the conversation to be had out loud. And whether award welcomes that or not is based on a game of roulette.

Now please don't take these questions as me wanting a cultural revolution or that even these changes SHOULD take place. In our conversation, I recognized many limitations and major issues with making such a change. Such as:
- Will we inadvertently be teaching people to live terrestrial lives instead of celestial?
- Would we have conflicts in classes where we are encouraging people to live celestial lives, but are surrounded by members who only desire terrestrial (ie lgbtq, people who reject the word of wisdom, etc.)
- Would this create a stronger feeling of being judged by members who already feel looked down on at church (whether their feelings reflect reality or not)?

This post is not me trying to shed words of wisdom, but rather me asking help to complete my thought and form a more solid opinion on the matter.

I admit the logistics of rolling this out in a way that doesn't create an unintentional class system in the church may be difficult to overcome, but the Jehovah's Witnesses seem to work past this. 

Could we successfully teach on the basic Christian values and allow all to participate and grow in that, yet be ok when we speak about the Word of Wisdom, LGBTQ, Eternal Marriage / family, the law of chastity, Roles of men and women, etc. and be ok when there are members who do not wish to live the higher law disagree? 
 

Thoughts?

I’ve never heard of the teaching that people in the terrestrial kingdom should not wish to go the celestial kingdom. I’ve heard that we will eventually be happy wherever we end up (because we chose it) and uncomfortable wherever we don’t end up (because we didn’t choose it).

If someone intentionally seeks to live outside of exaltation, or have given up hope for such, I would say they have not yet comprehended the Atonement of Christ. We are promised that if someone loves God and keeps the ordinances and covenants, no blessing will be withheld. If a blessing seems unappealing or out of reach, that is where faith, hope and charity come in handy.

Members who advertise that they are not seeking, or have given up hope, should be welcomed and loved in our meetings and discussions on this topic. These discussions should be void of contention and focused on the Atonement and doctrine of Christ. Human nature being as it is, people will have to rely on the Lord’s grace for this to go smoothly.

Given our central message, I don’t think we should give equal time encouraging people to aspire or acquiesce to notions of dwelling outside of God’s presence. We should encourage them in their condition (Mosiah 18: 7 - 11) and help them to grow in faith.

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5 minutes ago, CV75 said:

I’ve never heard of the teaching that people in the terrestrial kingdom should not wish to go the celestial kingdom

And to clarify, I was not intending to say we should or do. I have never heard that nor think we should teach it.

 

6 minutes ago, CV75 said:

If a blessing seems unappealing or out of reach, that is where faith, hope and charity come in handy.

 Members who advertise that they are not seeking, or have given up hope, should be welcomed and loved in our meetings and discussions on this topic. These discussions should be void of contention and focused on the Atonement and doctrine of Christ. Human nature being as it is, people will have to rely on the Lord’s grace for this to go smoothly.

Given our central message, I don’t think we should give equal time encouraging people to aspire or acquiesce to notions of dwelling outside of God’s presence. We should encourage them in their condition (Mosiah 18: 7 - 11) and help them to grow in faith.

I’m not referring to people who fall short and feel like exaltation is out of reach. I’m referring to people who love the gospel, but choose to live a homosexual lifestyle. 
 

Another question I could ask is “is it worth while or worth our time to help someone grow in basic Christian principles, such as faith hope and charity, when they reject specific and essential laws of God, such as the word of wisdom, law of chastity or modern revelation?” 

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1 hour ago, Fether said:

And to clarify, I was not intending to say we should or do. I have never heard that nor think we should teach it.

I’m not referring to people who fall short and feel like exaltation is out of reach. I’m referring to people who love the gospel, but choose to live a homosexual lifestyle. 

Another question I could ask is “is it worth while or worth our time to help someone grow in basic Christian principles, such as faith hope and charity, when they reject specific and essential laws of God, such as the word of wisdom, law of chastity or modern revelation?” 

You used the word "but", but I would say "I’m referring to people who love the gospel, and choose to live a homosexual lifestyle." That puts them on equal footing before God in their life's journey to love the gospel more and to choose to live a covenant lifestyle. Many religious denominations and philosophies find homosexual lifestyles to be in alignment with God's will, and so they have a measure of the gospel in their lives. The LDS Church finds the covenant path (as we define it) to be in alignment with God's will. As I mentioned above, those "who love the gospel, and choose to live a homosexual lifestyle" should be welcome in our Church and strive to learn and to stay. But they are free to resign or receive excommunication if they feel that strongly about the terms of membership relative to their lifestyle.

Yes, I believe it is "worth while or worth our time to help someone grow in basic Christian principles, such as faith hope and charity, when they reject specific and essential laws of God, such as the word of wisdom, law of chastity or modern revelation" until they repent, resign or receive excommunication.

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4 hours ago, Fether said:

One thing she spoke about was how she wished she had taught her kids that God's love and God's laws are not linked together. That no matter what decisions we make in life, God's love is always there. Additionally, she wished she could have taught the idea that just because you are "sinning" or believing differently from the church, doesn't mean you have to push away from God.

I don't mean to criticize your mother. Perhaps in some sense, God's love and God's laws are not linked, but what of it? If you want to make that distinction, then God's love will not save us. God's love is literally of no use to us whatsoever if we choose not to follow God's laws. God's love did Satan no good.

Furthermore, I would suggest that when we sin, that act alone is an act of "push[ing] away from God." But if her point is that just because we're committing Sin X doesn't mean we should feel comfortable in going ahead and committing Sins Y and Z, then I agree with her. We are not required to be perfect today. But by the same token, when we justify ourselves in our sins to any degree, we lose our connection to the divine.

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4 hours ago, Fether said:

One thing we talked about was how in the church, we teach both that (a) we all must strive for the celestial kingdom, and (b) we will be happy wherever we end up, and if we end up in the terrestrial kingdom, we shouldn't wish for the Celestial Kingdom because we would feel extremely uncomfortable there. There seem to be a dichotomy in these two (somewhat cultural) beliefs.

We as a Church don't teach that. Where we "end up" is far beyond our sight, and in any case we are commanded to seek after exaltation. (Just using the term "end up" in describing our eternal inheritance bespeaks a misunderstanding of what we're talking about.) Seeking after any other kingdom of glory is never mentioned in scripture.

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4 hours ago, Fether said:

Could we successfully teach on the basic Christian values and allow all to participate and grow in that, yet be ok when we speak about the Word of Wisdom, LGBTQ, Eternal Marriage / family, the law of chastity, Roles of men and women, etc. and be ok when there are members who do not wish to live the higher law disagree?

No. Not possible. The kingdom of God is given to  us to prepare us for exaltation, not some lesser thing. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints never encourages people to strive for less than what God wants to give them. That is opposite to God's purpose.

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1 hour ago, Fether said:

I’m referring to people who love the gospel, but choose to live a homosexual lifestyle. 

Do you see the inherent self-contradiction here? Can someone "love the gospel" but choose to murder or rape or commit adultery or extort or lie or dishonor his parents or blaspheme God? I suggest that by the very definition of what it must mean to "love the gospel", such things are impossible. You cannot simultaneously love the gospel and willfully ignore it.

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7 hours ago, Vort said:

Do you see the inherent self-contradiction here? Can someone "love the gospel" but choose to murder or rape or commit adultery or extort or lie or dishonor his parents or blaspheme God? I suggest that by the very definition of what it must mean to "love the gospel", such things are impossible. You cannot simultaneously love the gospel and willfully ignore it.

Ignoring the straw-man, let me make a Correction in my statement. 

I’m referring to people that don’t wish to follow the the gospel to perfection out of choice, but wish to still be a part of the church and believe in God.

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@Vort I guess the core question is “If someone rejects one portion of the gospel (ie they choose to live a homosexual lifestyle), is there room for them in the church if they accept the rest?”

and follow up question.

“Should we be sensitive when speak about such issues in classes?”

for example, there was a girl at a local seminary class who was lesbian, but was struggling with what to do between church and her sexuality. In class they were speaking about the family proclamation and the first thing the teacher did was write in large letters across the board “Anti-family is anti-Christ”. She left and called her mom crying.

Should the teacher have been more sensitive? Should the girl just suck it up?

This is a common enough situation where I think it should be addresses

Edited by Fether

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2 minutes ago, Fether said:

@Vort I guess the core question is “If someone rejects one portion of the gospel (ie they choose to live a homosexual lifestyle), is there room for them in the church if they accept the rest?”

I guess that depends on what you mean by "room in the Church". There is always room in the pews. As long as people don't disrupt meetings or use such meetings as an opportunity to preach against the Restored Gospel, they are always welcome.

But if you're talking about being baptized—that is a different matter. Those who are baptized are under covenant to live the gospel. If they choose not to live the gospel, and especially if they openly flout gospel principles, they risk being excommunicated. Such people should never be baptized into the Church; doing so does the Church ill and puts them in a situation to condemn themselves by disobeying their covenants.

2 minutes ago, Fether said:

and follow up question.

“Should we be sensitive when speak about such issues in classes?”

for example, there was a girl at a local seminary class who was lesbian, but was struggling with what to do between church and her sexuality. In class they were speaking about the family proclamation and the first thing the teacher did was write in large letters across the board “Anti-family is anti-Christ”. She left and called her mom crying.

Should the teacher have been more sensitive? Should the girl just suck it up?

We should definitely be sensitive. But by the same token, we should always preach the gospel in clear tones.

Some things are perhaps not "core doctrine" and might be better left unspoken in certain instances. But the sanctity of the family is absolutely central to gospel teachings. Why should the girl go crying to her mother because an obvious and very important truth was taught? The only possible way she could have taken offense is if she connected up the dots and came to the conclusion that living a lesbian lifestyle is anti-family and thus anti-Christ. If that were the case, she should neither take offense nor go crying to her mother, but should reassess her beliefs and commitments, and decide whether the path of lesbianism or the path of the gospel were the one she wanted to walk. I realize she's a youth and not an adult, but if she's old enough to go to seminary, she's old enough to ask herself some hard questions.

You cannot walk the gospel path and a path of sin simultaneously.

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48 minutes ago, Vort said:

I guess that depends on what you mean by "room in the Church". There is always room in the pews. As long as people don't disrupt meetings or use such meetings as an opportunity to preach against the Restored Gospel, they are always welcome.

But if you're talking about being baptized—that is a different matter. Those who are baptized are under covenant to live the gospel. If they choose not to live the gospel, and especially if they openly flout gospel principles, they risk being excommunicated. Such people should never be baptized into the Church; doing so does the Church ill and puts them in a situation to condemn themselves by disobeying their covenants.

We should definitely be sensitive. But by the same token, we should always preach the gospel in clear tones.

Some things are perhaps not "core doctrine" and might be better left unspoken in certain instances. But the sanctity of the family is absolutely central to gospel teachings. Why should the girl go crying to her mother because an obvious and very important truth was taught? The only possible way she could have taken offense is if she connected up the dots and came to the conclusion that living a lesbian lifestyle is anti-family and thus anti-Christ. If that were the case, she should neither take offense nor go crying to her mother, but should reassess her beliefs and commitments, and decide whether the path of lesbianism or the path of the gospel were the one she wanted to walk. I realize she's a youth and not an adult, but if she's old enough to go to seminary, she's old enough to ask herself some hard questions.

You cannot walk the gospel path and a path of sin simultaneously.

I do agree with the principles and doctrines you are referencing. I do not wish for the church to start baptizing people who are actively reveling against basic principles such as marriage and gender.

Ive just been diving into podcast interviews with LGBTQ Latter-day Saints including Matthew Gong (elder gong’s son) and Jeff McLean (Michael McLean’s son) as well as others. In many cases, they break down crying in these interviews because they love the gospel, they love God, but they can’t come to terms with their feelings and how it could be fair that they are given this lot in life, probably one of the very hardest things to expect to be obedient to. Assuming what they are sharing is true, it is immensely traumatizing.

I do not desire a change in doctrine or policy, rather, it breaks my heart to see these inner conflicts and I just hope we can be more sensitive.

We had a young man in my own ward who came out as gay. I don’t know what things he experienced or how people spoke to him since he was a teacher and I was over the deacons. But he and felt he couldn’t come to church at all anymore. But it breaks my heart to think of all the things he heard about homosexuality in just passing or from a teacher who was under the assumption that no one in the room could possibly be gay. 

Similar to how speak about porn use, or word of wisdom struggles, premarital sex and any other potentially embarrassing or serious sin... we ought to be careful of what we say in our conversation. Preach the doctrine, but be careful not the demonize those who are facing the very thing being discussed. Telling a child (or anyone who is young in the gospel) that is struggling with their sexual identity and being a saint that being anti-family is anti-Christ is wrong in my opinion. I think it is true, it is absolutely true. But there are better ways to teach youth about the contents of the family proclamation than by starting the class off by saying “you are anti-Christ if you are gay”. It’s similar to prefacing a law of chastity lesson with “I know none of you have problems with this because you are all good kids, but we need to talk about pornography”.

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15 minutes ago, Fether said:

But it breaks my heart to think of all the things he heard about homosexuality in just passing or from a teacher who was under the assumption that no one in the room could possibly be gay.

Growing up, I heard many slurs against homosexuals and homosexuality. Most of them were heard in my public school; no such things were ever said in my home, and almost none were heard at Church. Those times I did hear such things at Church were invariably from the mouths of one or more of a few young men my age or a little older who thought themselves edgy and cool, and who attended Church only because their parents "made" them.

The only thing I have ever heard taught at Church or by Church leaders about homosexuality is that it is a perversion of sex, a sin, and a practice that we ought never to embrace or even experiment with. That teaching seems pretty much baseline for such a topic. To teach less than that would be to do a grave disservice to our children who need to understand gospel principles.

20 minutes ago, Fether said:

Similar to how speak about porn use, or word of wisdom struggles, premarital sex and any other potentially embarrassing or serious sin... we ought to be careful of what we say in our conversation. Preach the doctrine, but be careful not the demonize those who are facing the very thing being discussed.

Again, I do not remember ever having heard a teacher or Church leader demonize someone struggling in sin, including homosexuality. Based on my own experience, I doubt such a thing is common. I appreciate your sincere concern for your brothers and sisters who may be facing such issues, but I suspect many of those who claim to have experienced such bitter persecution have in actuality experienced Church leaders, teachers, and members talking about fleeing from sin and not allowing it to pollute us.

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11 hours ago, Fether said:

I’m referring to people who love the gospel, but choose to live a homosexual lifestyle.

9 hours ago, CV75 said:

"I’m referring to people who love the gospel, and choose to live a homosexual lifestyle."

Uhh. . .

Quote

If ye love me, keep my commandments.
 - Jesus Christ

Can someone love the gospel and not love Jesus Christ at the same time?  I'd say the two are mutually exclusive when it comes to a point of not even trying.  (Looks like you responded to this already)
 

9 hours ago, Vort said:

Seeking after any other kingdom of glory is never mentioned in scripture.

Perhaps not directly, but don't we see a little of that from King David?  His circumstance was certainly different as he committed a major sin and then experienced continual remorse and a desire to repent; Fether was not referencing people who want to turn away from their sins, but those who want to continue to live them.

 

24 minutes ago, Fether said:

they can’t come to terms with their feelings and how it could be fair that they are given this lot in life, probably one of the very hardest things to expect to be obedient to.

If they can't come to terms with the unfairness, they have a lot more to learn, and a lot more looking around to do.  How is their life any more unfair than a child who is sold into slavery and sexually, mentally, and physically abused their entire lives until they die or are killed?  How is their life any less fair than someone who never has the opportunity to marry, and yet lives their entire life having to cope with normal sexual desires?  If they struggle with that question of fairness, their mind's eye is shallow and they need to recognized the endless pit of unfairness that exists in our mortal world.

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On 5/14/2021 at 4:31 AM, Fether said:

One thing she spoke about was how she wished she had taught her kids that God's love and God's laws are not linked together. That no matter what decisions we make in life, God's love is always there.

I get what you are saying here and I think it's a very valid point for someone who is "struggling" to live the gospel like we all do at times to varying degrees. Recognition of God's love can give a person hope that God has not abandoned them in their struggle and that he will prepare a way for them to succeed in life. But if someone ceases to struggle and wholly embraces conduct contrary to God's commandments knowledge of God's love for them is likely not going to be very influential in their decision making but I think that knowledge is still important if per chance they reach a point in life where they humble themselves enough to renew the struggle.

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On 5/14/2021 at 4:31 AM, Fether said:

One thing we talked about was how in the church, we teach both that (a) we all must strive for the celestial kingdom, and (b) we will be happy wherever we end up, and if we end up in the terrestrial kingdom, we shouldn't wish for the Celestial Kingdom because we would feel extremely uncomfortable there. There seem to be a dichotomy in these two (somewhat cultural) beliefs.

I also agree that there is a dichotomy in these teachings, which I have heard expressed, though the dichotomy comes as a result of incorrect, or perhaps we might say too generalized of an explanation of these doctrines. Happiness is a very relative term and when we use it to describe both those in the Celestial kingdom as well as lesser kingdoms it can leave a lot of confusion. It is true that the felon inmate will experience much genuine happiness in being released on parole but it's unfair to equate that happiness with someone who's life is wholly uncumbered by restrictions on where they can go and what they can do. We ought to do a better job of qualifying our statements on the level of happiness experienced in the eternal worlds. It is true that we will all be grateful at the level of mercy extended us which will result in genuine happiness for all but can we honestly say the person united in an eternal family is no more happy than those who don't have that blessing? I think it's a teaching that we need to do a better job of explaining.

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23 hours ago, Fether said:

And to clarify, I was not intending to say we should or do. I have never heard that nor think we should teach it.

 

I’m not referring to people who fall short and feel like exaltation is out of reach. I’m referring to people who love the gospel, but choose to live a homosexual lifestyle. 
 

Another question I could ask is “is it worth while or worth our time to help someone grow in basic Christian principles, such as faith hope and charity, when they reject specific and essential laws of God, such as the word of wisdom, law of chastity or modern revelation?” 

I would say yes.  You can also remind them of these verses in Colossians

And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled 
with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner 
worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the 
knowledge of God; being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all 
endurance and patience with joy; giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in 
the inheritance of the saints in light. He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and 
transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son
.

Matteo

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I think it would be a mistake to separate God's Love.. From God's Commandments.  They are not separate things... God's Commandments are an expression of God's Love.  God loves us so much that he wants what is best for us.. which is for us to return to him.

God's love for us is like the love of a Good Parent has for their child.  They love them when they are infants, and totally dependent.  They love them when they are trying to be obey, they love them when they are defiant, and they even love them when they are self destructing.  The love of a Good Parent does not change, it can be mixed with Joy or Sadness depending on the choices of the Child.

However too many people think that the Love of God will trump our agency... But this is a fallacy...The judgements of God are not based on what God chooses on what God love's... but on what we choose... on what we Love... on what we become.  And becoming is what the Commandments are all about.

 

 

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When I travel I like to take in as much of new cultures as possible in my journey.  While visiting the country of Grease I noticed a rather odd sign at many of the touristy novelty shops.   The sign exorbitantly exclaimed in giant letters, “Genuine Fakes”.   I was not sure if the sign was bad humor or something lost in translation.  And so I asked what the sign was trying to convey.  I was told in essence that it was advertising very high quality knockoffs of known, popular very expensive brands.  The best examples were watches which though not the very expensive prestigious brand but carefully crafted to look like they were.   Even the brand name on the watch was similar enough to be mistaken for the popular brand but in some way ever so slightly different.

I have thought much about this concept.  There is an old saying  that everything has its price.  So what was being offered was in essence a high quality counterfeit without all the cost of the “Real” article.   Referring to the original as the genuine does not quite seem right in the context of this presentation. 

I have often wondered why in the bright light of truth, someone would be willing to openly live a lie; pretending to themselves and others that a counterfeit is genuine.  For the first time, I think this concept of a genuine fake has given me a glimpse into why.  I will not list all of the occurrences and examples I have encountered of preferring the lie of genuine fakes have been preferred over truth beyond what I think is the greatest example of all time.

This example comes from the ancient religious concept of Satan, as a being that fell from the light of pristine divine truth into perhaps the most spectacular genuine fake that has ever been.  I have often pondered how any intelligent being would come to prefer a lie (genuine fake) over truth (the genuine and real item).  Could the answer be as simple as the root concept of a genuine fake?

Sometimes the price is more than just the monetary value necessary for acquiring it.  For example the price of a beautiful garden is beyond the price of securing the various plants and land or even the price of labor to prepare the ground and plant all the plants.  The price also includes the never ending labor of constant care to maintain the garden.  Without the constant and never ending labor of continuing care; the beauty of the garden cannot and will not be sustained and over time, all could be lost.    And so I believe that for those that are not willing to pay the necessary price for the enduring or the sustaining of things; a genuine fake can be purchased for much less sacrifice.  Realizing that all payments and costs associated with what is desired and what is willing for payment are the essential sacrifice that will be required.

I have been amazed in the parallels of science (physics and mathematics) and pure religion (spirituality).  For example I see a great deal of symmetry in mathematical constancies such as the universal gravitational constant and the stable sustaining of physical things to be much like the notions in religion of things being “eternal”.  We see these parallels play out in all kinds of basic principles of that which is sustainable as part of the isotropic nature of our universe. 

We can see this principle of that which is sustainable in the science of evolution.  For a species to be sustained and not become extinct, we have a very important principle called the survival of the fittest.  In short this is a predominant characteristic of a species that as a community can endure the challenge of survival and maintain and improve that endurance over recurring generations.  The essence of the specie’s community is the exact same principles that are taught in sustainable religious concepts that are compatible with the preservation of the human family in what is defined as traditional marriage between an individual man and an individual woman to become biologically sustainable parents of offspring that will learn and preserve the needed skills and talents to sustain the species through generations.

Like a garden the concept of a genuine traditional family comes at very expensive sustainable costs – which is in essence a great deal of sacrifice; which must include the sacrifice of individual momentary pleasures in favor of the sufficient and sustainable returns necessary to maintain the species.  Let us remember that sustainable returns are returns that are constant and stable through many generations.

But for those that are unable or unwilling to pay (sacrifice) the cost of the exclusive and expensive traditional family there are genuine fakes that can be purchased at a much reduced cost or necessary and sufficient sacrifice; not just for an individual to participate in the evolution of that which must be sustained to maintain succeeding generations but for entire populations within the species communities to behave consistently with incentive sacrifices to preserve the species.  There is in reality no difference in the result of individuals and communities within a species and even the entire collective of the species between what is considered impossible or not desirable.   If what becomes desired is not sustainable the species will become extinct or at least that unstainable desire will be eliminated from the gene pool.

 And so it is that some efforts for a genuine family deliberately fail because the sacrifice that is given is not sufficient to remain sustainable and so there is a choice of unsustainable pleasures of a moment rather than sustainable returns.  The reality of what will remain as the end result is of necessity the product of individual choices which become predominate in the collective society of the species.

Now to the question at hand.  I do not believe that there can be telestial or terrestrial kingdoms without the Celestial kingdom and it's citizens making personal sacrifices (out of love) that all my be sustainable.  To be Celestial it appears to me that we must make sacrifice in order that others can be sustained in what they desire and choose - in other words have agency.  The difficult part for me is the genuine love necessary to allow others their agency to choose whatever genuine fakes suits them.  It is hard not to accept my own genuine fake (of casting out to be forgotten) in dealing with those that taught the LGBTQ genuine fakes.  But then Satan's plan is to force compliance and end agency.

 

The Traveler

Edited by Traveler

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On 5/14/2021 at 7:31 AM, Fether said:

One thing she spoke about was how she wished she had taught her kids that God's love and God's laws are not linked together. That no matter what decisions we make in life, God's love is always there. Additionally, she wished she could have taught the idea that just because you are "sinning" or believing differently from the church, doesn't mean you have to push away from God. 

 

When discussing God's love, it's worth noting that it comes in different forms and varieties - some of which is universal and some is conditional.

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/general-conference/2009/10/love-and-law?lang=eng

 

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The love of God is so universal that His perfect plan bestows many gifts on all of His children, even those who disobey His laws. Mortality is one such gift, bestowed on all who qualified in the War in Heaven. Another unconditional gift is the universal resurrection: “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive” (1 Corinthians 15:22). Many other mortal gifts are not tied to our personal obedience to law. As Jesus taught, our Heavenly Father “maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust” (Matthew 5:45).

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Some seem to value God’s love because of their hope that His love is so great and so unconditional that it will mercifully excuse them from obeying His laws. In contrast, those who understand God’s plan for His children know that God’s laws are invariable, which is another great evidence of His love for His children. Mercy cannot rob justice, and those who obtain mercy are “they who have kept the covenant and observed the commandment” (D&C 54:6).

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God’s choicest blessings are clearly contingent upon obedience to God’s laws and commandments. The key teaching is from modern revelation:

“There is a law, irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundations of this world, upon which all blessings are predicated—

“And when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated” (D&C 130:20–21).

As for what we should teach our youth....

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/general-conference/2014/10/loving-others-and-living-with-differences?lang=eng

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In dedicated spaces, like temples, houses of worship, and our own homes, we should teach the truth and the commandments plainly and thoroughly as we understand them from the plan of salvation revealed in the restored gospel. Our right to do so is protected by constitutional guarantees of freedom of speech and religion, as well as by the privacy that is honored even in countries without formal constitutional guarantees.

In public, what religious persons say and do involves other considerations....

On the subject of public discourse, we should all follow the gospel teachings to love our neighbor and avoid contention. Followers of Christ should be examples of civility. We should love all people, be good listeners, and show concern for their sincere beliefs. Though we may disagree, we should not be disagreeable. Our stands and communications on controversial topics should not be contentious. We should be wise in explaining and pursuing our positions and in exercising our influence. In doing so, we ask that others not be offended by our sincere religious beliefs and the free exercise of our religion. We encourage all of us to practice the Savior’s Golden Rule: “Whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them” (Matthew 7:12).

I had a YSA bishop once who gathered the men and women together for a talk about chastity. He spoke very plainly about the Church's standards and then shared the following: My first year as bishop I hemmed and hawed when I spoke on this subject. I don't do that anymore. I've spoken very plainly and directly. The reason is very simple. I've seen the heartache and hardship that follows when you break this law, and I love you too much to not warn you."

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23 hours ago, Fether said:

Ive just been diving into podcast interviews with LGBTQ Latter-day Saints including Matthew Gong (elder gong’s son) and Jeff McLean (Michael McLean’s son) as well as others. In many cases, they break down crying in these interviews because they love the gospel, they love God, but they can’t come to terms with their feelings and how it could be fair that they are given this lot in life, probably one of the very hardest things to expect to be obedient to. Assuming what they are sharing is true, it is immensely traumatizing.

Fether, what do they want?  I think that really is the crux of the issue here.

I would agree with Vort—anyone is welcome in our meetings, and we want meetings to be conducted generally with kindness and sensitivity and tact.  But:

—Frankly, you can go to any church and wind up in the Terrestrial kingdom—this church’s raison d’etre is to see its members exalted.

—We cannot administer the ordinances of the gospel to those who are unwilling to keep the laws and covenants associated therewith.

—We cannot quit talking about sin in our own meetings just to placate the feelings of those who want who continue to seek community and fellowship with us but also persist in committing (and even justifying) the sins that our doctrine tells us will sabotage our quests for exaltation. 

—A platitude like “to be anti-family is anti-Christ” is perhaps hyperbolic, vague, and otherwise not my particular cup of tea; but if it’s going to send someone blubbering, out of the room, crying to their parent—to quote our current President:  c’mon, man!  Everyone (including single people) has a family.  The vast majority of people who are at least semi-functional, love their families—or at least, love the idea of having a stable, healthy family.  If she is that bothered by the idea that Jesus wants her to have a loving family, then her problem goes far beyond whether her baser desires tend to be activated by an issue of Playboy versus Playgirl.  There’s some other social or familial or psychological pathology going on here—and while (see above) as a church and as individuals we want to be kind and tactful and sensitive; we simply cannot be expected to foresee every trauma, mental illness, or libertine social movement that may have stuck its filthy maws into and made a nervous wreck out of any random adolescent who finds themselves sitting in our pews.

At some point, there needs to be a little less drama queenery and making-an-offender-for-a-word; and a little more saintly give-and-take and two-way burden-bearing.  

 

Edited by Just_A_Guy

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On 5/14/2021 at 9:59 PM, person0 said:
  On 5/14/2021 at 10:13 AM, Fether said:

I’m referring to people who love the gospel, but choose to live a homosexual lifestyle.

  On 5/14/2021 at 11:56 AM, CV75 said:

"I’m referring to people who love the gospel, and choose to live a homosexual lifestyle."

Uhh. . .

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If ye love me, keep my commandments.
 - Jesus Christ

Can someone love the gospel and not love Jesus Christ at the same time?  I'd say the two are mutually exclusive when it comes to a point of not even trying.  (Looks like you responded to this already)

There are people of all stripes who love the gospel to the degree of light they possess, and their moral choices reflect their understanding of the Lord's commandments. If they reject greater light, or live contrary to greater light and the attendant commandments, the face the consequences. If they are members of the Church, consequences would involve a restriction or denial of privileges.

However, we do not teach people to strive for lesser light, lesser kingdoms of glory, etc. We do teach them to do the best they can in their circumstances, relying of the mercy and grace of Christ, and that no opportunity for the blessings of exaltation will be denied the willing, true and faithful.

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MY thoughts on why the Church teaches the principles which can bring us up to the Celestial Kingdom and does not push only merely getting to the Terrestrial or Telestial Kingdoms is because you do not need the Church in this life to actually end up in the Telestial or Terrestrial Kingdoms.

The Church exist to bring those who desire to live in the Celestial Glory that opportunity.

I feel in the pre-existence we had a choice on what we wanted to do in this life, where we wanted to be, and if we even wanted to go to the Telestial, Terrestrial, or Celestial Kingdom.  According to our choices or desires we were granted such opportunities in this life.  Thus, the lord already knows those that wished for a Celestial glory and were trying for it even prior to this life!

The gospel of exaltation and the path and ordinances and covenants in the Church then, are for those children.  WE are also the servants of the Lord and the tools to help all others to accomplish where they wish to go, whether Celestial, Terrestrial, or Telestial.

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